Marvel UK’s Mystery European Strips – Can You Help Identify Them?

Author Rob Kirby is close to completing his long awaited book on the history of Marvel UK, From Cents to Pence – but he needs some help identifying a final few strips published in some titles that were first published in Europe, probably with different titles.

“I’ve managed to identify about 75 per cent of the foreign strips that Marvel UK reprinted over the years,” Rob tells downthetubes, “a mixture of strips taken from other US publishers such as DC and Eclipse, as well as various European titles. But there are some that remain elusive.

“Hopefully, one or two downthetubes readers might have an interest in this area and be able to help. Ideally, I’d like to know the exact issues numbers for the titles the strips appeared in originally, as well as any other details that might be relevant.

“For instance, ‘The Battle of Hastings‘, may well have gone under a different name in its native publication.”

Where did this "Betty Boop" strip, first published in Marvel Bumper Comic #15, first appear?

Where did this “Betty Boop” strip, first published in Marvel Bumper Comic #15, first appear?

"Trapped Beneath the Waves" ran in Marvel UK's Transformers #15 - but where was it originally published?

“Trapped Beneath the Waves” ran in Marvel UK’s Transformers #15 – but where was it originally published?

"Alcatraz" ran in Marvel UK's Transformers #17 - but where was it originally published?

“Alcatraz” ran in Marvel UK’s Transformers #17 – but where was it originally published?

Is "The Battle of Hastings", which ran in Marvel UK's Transformers #19 a European reprint? Can you help?

Is “The Battle of Hastings”, which ran in Marvel UK’s Transformers #19 a European reprint? Can you help?

Two strips recently identified appeared in Spidey Comic and Transformers, and we’re including them here just to give you an idea of what Rob has been trying to find more details on.

“The Tough Guys”, featured in Spidey Comic #651

“The Tough Guys”, featured in Spidey Comic #651

The Tough Guys”, featured in Spidey Comic #651 – a reprint of  Les casseurs – Hauts et Bas à San Francisco, by writer and artist Christian Denayer and writer André-Paul Duchâteau, one of a series of adventures initially in Tintin magazine and published from 1979 to 1994 by Éditions de Lombard. This British reprint seems to have eluded online documentation, but the strip has been republished in Intégrale Les Casseurs, Tome 2 by Lombard.

MUK Transformers #21 - Erik the Red

Transformers #21 – Erik the Red

“The Saga of Erik the Red”, in Transformers #21, is the work of artist J.M. Woehrel and Yves Duval, “La Saga d’Erik Randa” first appearing in Tintin.

• If you can help Rob Kirby in his quest, please do comment below. If you have never commented on the site in the past, please note that your first comments will go through an approval process, then you can comment freely (subject to good taste, politeness etc)


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12 replies

  1. I am steering Bas Schudddeboom your way, head of Lambiek’s Comiclopedia. He does this sort of thing daily.

  2. Except for Betty Boop, there a pretty Franco-Belgian look to these, and others were from Tintin, so I assume they are fillers from Tintin’s “Authentiques” series.Likely the French edition after the Belgian folded.

    “Trapped Beneath the Waves” – “27 h prisonniers sous la mer” by Van Dessel, Tintin 489
    “Alcatraz” – “La dramatique histoire d’Alcatraz” by Marc–Rénier and Duval, Tintin 441
    “The Battle of Hastings” – “La bataille de Hastings”, Tintin 608

    (I just go on a hunch and logically sound names, though, so my guesstimates need some looking up.)

  3. Okay, just finished searching, and I see that Håkan has beaten me to it 🙂 We came up with the same results:

    It think the Hastings-story is ‘La bataille de Hastings’ by Decrock & Yves Duval, from Nouveau Tintin #608 (1987), but I have no scan to back this up. ‘Trapped beneath the waves’ is signed by Mister Kit ( and is probably also one of the Tintin “true stories”, but I don’t know which one.
    I guess ‘The Truth about Alcatraz’ is ‘La dramatique histoire d’Alcatraz’ by Marc-Renier and Yves Duval from Nouveau Tintin #441 (1984).


  4. Now I realize that the photographer in the first story looks very much like Swedish artist Ulf Jansson’s style, although the rest of the strip looks a bit different, as if it was a copy-and-paste job. Quite strange. I’ll e-mail his writing partner Magnus Knutsson and see if he would know anything.

  5. I found out that the story apparently is from the Norwegian editor Gevion’s short-lived Betty Boop Magazine 2/1986, and the artist is indeed Ulf Jansson. I haven’t found out about the writer, yet, it’s probably some Norwegian.

    Ulf Jansson is otherwise a “homebody”, who hasn’t done much work outside Sweden, and has generally stayed away from studio work doing others’ characters, preferring drawing characters he either has created himself or co-created with long collaborative partner Magnus Knutsson.

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